Summer Scouting: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Chris Olave surprised much of the football world when he decided to go back to school instead of declaring for the NFL Draft. Most view(ed) Olave as a first-round pick and even a potential top-20 selection. It’ll be interesting to see how his stock is affected electing to go back to school, especially with the loss of Justin Fields to the NFL and another very deep wide receiver class. We saw DeVonta Smith of the Alabama Crimson Tide (now on the Philadelphia Eagles) make a similar decision last season and he wound up winning the Heisman trophy and becoming a top-15 pick in the draft.

Possessing a similar skillset to Smith, Olave could see a similar type rise, yet it will be extremely difficult to have the same type of production Smith did especially with Garrett Wilson on the other side of the field (Smith had Waddle, but he missed most of the season with an injury). We’ve seen both sides of the card with players who elect to return to school, Smith went in the first round and the running back from Oklahoma State, Chuba Hubbard, ended up falling further than many expected he would if he entered the 2020 NFL Draft instead of returning to school. If Olave can stay healthy throughout his Senior season he should find himself selected somewhere in the first round of next year’s draft, the biggest question though, is when will that happen?

Pros:

  • Release Package
  • Setting up defenders in his route, deceptive.
  • Running w/ tempo in his route.
  • Smooth feet at the top of his routes.
  • Easy mover, agile.
  • Excellent hip sink, makes for easy transitions.
  • Ball skills, + hands and tracks the football well.
  • Straight line speed, solid acceleration.
  • Gets after it as a blocker.
  • Concentration at the catch point on deep balls.
  • Maintains speed through breaks.
  • Body Control on the sideline.

Cons:

  • Not very explosive in his lower half, lacks juice out of his breaks.
  • Lets DBs hang on him, needs to improve his handing fighting.
  • Doesn’t bring much juice after the catch, primarily a possession receiver.
  • Smaller frame.

2021 Season Statistics:

50 receptions, 729 receiving yards, 14.6 yards per reception, and 7 touchdowns in seven games.

Preliminary Grade:

7.38 – First Round Grade

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